Rev. Gaspar ‘Pop’ M. Farina

Oct. 25, 1915 - Dec. 11, 2011

The Rev. Gaspar "Pop" M. Farina, 96, born in Beloit on Oct. 25, 1915, to Sicilian immigrant parents Michael and Sarah (Nastasi) Farina, was born into eternal life Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011.

Pop enrolled at Whitewater State University in 1934 and continued athletic brilliance that began at Beloit High School when he quarterbacked the Beloit’s Big 8 Championship Squad of 1933 and was guard on its 1933 and 1934 state championship basketball teams. While at Whitewater, he was football team captain for three years, All-Conference in ‘35, ‘36 and ‘37, and quarterbacked the 1937 Gridiron Champs. He was also Whitewater’s basketball team captain for three years. After graduation, he played professional football for the Kenosha Cardinals. His passion for sports led him to coach football and basketball at Custer High in Milwaukee from 1939 to 1949 and then on to head coach in 1951.

As a WWII veteran, he began his U.S. Navy tour of duty in 1943 and ranked lieutenant when released in 1945.

He furthered his education at Marquette University and accepted a vice principal position at Wells Junior High in Milwaukee in 1956 and later, Walker Junior High.

He attended Nashotah House Seminary, was ordained an Episcopal perpetual deacon in 1956 and began his service at St. Matthias Episcopal Church, Waukesha.

He was inducted into the Whitewater Athletic Hall of Fame in 1966 and inducted into the Beloit Historical Society Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994. He was a WIAA official for football and basketball for many years.

After retirement, Pop and his wife Jane continued to serve the Episcopal church for more than 20 years while residing in Eagle River and Florida, and helped to establish St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Hudson, Fla.

Pop will be dearly missed by his three sons and daughter, Michael (Teri) Farina of Mercer, James Farina of Portage, David Farina of Genesee Depot and Mary (Steve) Keppen of Pewaukee; grandchildren, Brent (Gina) Farina of Waukesha, Ryan Farina of Genesee, Mark Farina of Marquette, Matthew Farina of Brooklyn, Andrew Farina of Milwaukee, Michael Farina of Chicago, Michelle (Kurt) Koeshall of New Berlin, Todd Farina of Madison, Jon Keppen of Delafield and Heather Keppen of Delafield; and great-grandchildren, Erin, Aidan, Kaden, Jackson, Luke, Caleb, Christian and Nathanial.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Jane Katherine Lord; and all five brothers and sisters, Jack Farina, Albert Farina, Rose White, Josephine Johnson and Vita Ross.

Private family services were held.

Donations to Alzheimer’s Association are suggested.

A special thanks to the staff at LindenGrove.

Schramka-Borgwardt Funeral Home is serving the family. For more information, call 414-476-2010 or visit online at www.borgwardtfuneral.com.